The deadly Asian earthquake may have permanently accelerated the Earth's rotation -- shortening days by a fraction of a second -- and caused the planet to wobble on its axis, U.S. scientists said Tuesday.
Richard Gross, a geophysicist with NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California, theorized that a shift of mass toward the Earth's center during the quake Sunday caused the planet to spin 3 microseconds, or one millionth of a second, faster and to tilt about an inch on its axis.
When one huge tectonic plate beneath the Indian Ocean was forced below the edge of another "it had the effect of making the Earth more compact and spinning faster," Gross said.
Wednesday, December 29, 2004
Aceh quake may have made Earth wobble
Earth takes one on the chin:
Posted by Nils at 12/29/2004 08:21:00 AM